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How To Approach Teaching/What To Teach Out Of?

Discussion in 'General Instruction [BG]' started by korndogg524, Jan 7, 2017.

  1. korndogg524


    Jul 16, 2016
    So I am a classically trained upright bassist whom picked up electric bass playing out of necessity and lust for more gigs. I knew a good bit of theory when I first started learning so I basically taught myself either through my own knowledge of how notes work (note values, whole steps, half steps, scales, modes, e.t.c), or through Youtube videos for more technical stuff (slap and pop, right hand technique, hammer ons/pull offs, tapping). My question is because I learned this way I never really had an electric teacher anything like that, how would you teach someone electric bass or what worked for you? I've had some inquiries into if I teach electric bass and I may start giving lessons is why I ask.
  2. Snaxster


    Nov 29, 2008
    General Instruction [BG]
  3. jallenbass

    jallenbass Supporting Member Commercial User

    May 17, 2005
    Bend, Oregon
    I combine basic musicianship, theory and learning songs. It's worked for my students thus far. Just make sure that they are learning what interests them and then you'll be able to creatively introduce more advanced musical concepts.
  4. MrLenny1


    Jan 17, 2009
    Start with the basics. Most have poor fingering & lack of scale knowlwedge.
    Then focus on a tune they like & incorporate some theory.
    Bass students are rare, most music store guitar teachers double as
    bass teachers.
    Good luck.
  5. Bass Guitar for Dummies would make a great book to base your lessons upon. Start on page one and advance as the student needs to.

    Dummies starts off with how to hold the bass .....
  6. Jloch86


    Aug 1, 2016
    New Jersey
    I put on an Eb blues backing track and ask them to walk five choruses. If they can't, that's what we're working on. If they can, I move to Ab. I have them go through all the keys until they stumble.

    If they don't stumble, I'll put on a backing track with all the major chords, six bars for each chord, moving up in fourths until they get lost.

    The same pattern will repeat with all chord structures: major, minor, dominant and all the altered chords that branch from them. I have them play all the inversions of those chords as well.

    A graduated student will eventually be able to handle any chord progression I throw at them.
    Chris Inburque likes this.
  7. 5544


    Dec 1, 2015
    Do you want to be a good teacher or just someone who can see how much money you milk out of a person before they call it quits?

    I've had plenty of bad teachers so here is my take on it.

    Create a syllabus and use it for every student just like a teacher does in a classroom. Start every single student with the basics - even if they say they know it already. Some may go through it faster than other but the students know ahead of time that you have a plan. When I posted a question about modes from my first lesson, the majority of replies told me that I needed a new teacher.

    Use songs that they know, not what you like. The worst thing in the world for someone to here is "this is my favorite song for teaching this". Sure you may know the song but if they don't know the song, they are more focused learning the song and not the actual lesson behind the song. Nothing worse than spending money on lessons to be taught the same thing over and over and over and...

    That is about it because I usually ended up quitting since I wasn't grasping the whole concept of paying someone vs. buying a book for the cost of a single lesson.
  8. BassChuck

    BassChuck Supporting Member

    Nov 15, 2005
    I have a degree in music ed. I taught school music for 36 years. Most of that was band or orchestra and the main task was getting the ensembles to play together... individual training, less so. I tried private teaching several times over the years and was not happy with it. All that was on wind instruments.

    Now for bass. I wouldn't give more than two private lessons to a student. Whats the point? There are so many good books out there and videos etc, I can't see what I would do for a student. In one lesson you can cover tuning, posture, all major and minor scales (although that's in plenty of books) and a discussion of equipment. The point here is that there are too many really bad players out there, why work to produce one more? If a student is interested they'll find a way. The best a teacher can do is save them some time. IF I were to teach, I'd do that first lesson, recommend some books, make sure they understood how to hold and pluck so they weren't building any bad habits and then send them on their way with the message, I don't want to hear from you for a month, then call me IF you have a question.

    The problem is that too many people take lessons not really wanting to learn the instrument but rather wanting to transfer responsibility for end result to the teacher. If you don't want to learn, no teacher is going to fix that. True you could instill some curiosity and desire, but if that is not organically present within the student, you're just on borrowed time.
    Chris Inburque and MalcolmAmos like this.
  9. Chris Inburque

    Chris Inburque

    Jan 13, 2017
    Since you are classically trained, perhaps the totality of your formal schooling and experience using those skills on gigs in pits, on stage, etc... could be put to good use.

    I play electric, but even I know that things like Bach's Two Part Inventions and methods such as Simandl are things with which you are intimately familiar. Check out the differences between the upright and bass guitar (1 finger per fret on electric) and use your knowledge of theory and reading to build that great base in you're students.

    If you can play in string quartets you can show ANYBODY what it is to play with good touch, tone, and time within a group. I can't imagine anyone with a discerning taste in music would find fault with the passion you showed in college/conservatory.

    Rock on!
  10. Garret Graves

    Garret Graves website- ggravesmusic.com Gold Supporting Member

    May 20, 2010
    Arcadia, Ca
    Sorry you feel that way- to you and to OP, I would suggest taking a Skype lesson or two with Anthony Wellington. I have studied with many teachers over the years, Upright and electric- and I teach individuals as well. Ant Wellington is great for showing there is a whole world of productive and valuable work that can and should be done on the instrument BASS GUITAR in particular. I agree with Ant in the following regard too- most books out there are LOUSY, in regards to technique and really teaching an effective, long term, cohesive and balanced approach to the instrument that really feeds you as a player. I have over 60 books, and the technical ones have a lot of shortcomings that need to be rethought. First thing I would tell Korndogg524 is- take a lesson or two from a bass guitarist such as Ant, it is a different animal than the double bass, and you should familiarize yourself with those differences. I say this as a guy who was in your shoes some years back, an upright bassist who simply played electric because I needed too, and didn't approach it with a complete picture.

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